I start the day with the enormous muffin at [surprisingly] beautiful Moose Lake. It was basically a pitch black hole when I arrived in the darkness last night.
After some miles on McCarthy road I reach the path towards Marks house. With his directions in mind I decide to give it a go right now.
Roughly 1km of bumpy way in I reach his car but I know this is just the beginning. From here the path degrades to a single trail. The directions were quite well in my opinion so I make turn by turn through the thick brushes beeing confident to be on the correct way. However, more and more forks come my way and after about 1 hour and 3km pushing Klaus through the woods I slowly but surely loose this confidence. After unsuccessfully following another trail where I find Mark's fat bike leaned towards a tree and shouting out for him, I hesitantly call it a failed mission.
I am sure I would have found him, eventually. But there is bear poo every ten meters on the trail and two times I realize that I must have gone in a circle. So I also see other possible outcomes to this... After pushing back again for roughly an hour I am back on the pathway out to the road. Phew!
I feel incredibly stupid and the fact that it seems to be quite a challenge to find him let's my overall disappointment skyrocket.
So many questions trigger my imagination: How does he live out there, summer and winter? How does he transport all the food he had in his car yesterday to his house? How does the house look like? What kind of amenities does he have [I don't have cell service and I also didn't see an electricity line coming in from the road]? What made him chose the life out here? What's his story?
All these unanswered questions don't do much than fuel my disappointment. It takes a while of me drowning in misery before I realize another important factor of why this hits me so hard right now. The whole mission delayed my arrival to McCarthy about two hours. I planned to have my second breakfast either with Mark or at McCarthy. It's long overdue. I am hangry! I have all the peanut butter cups Mark gave me yesterday at once and instantly feel better [maybe he knew].
Around 2PM I make it to McCarthy. I put Klaus on a flash diet by leaving most of my gear at a bear locker there and ride up to the Kennicott copper mines which where established in the early 20th century.
Mind boggle: The workers did not leave the mines between November and March just because the weather outside was too harsh. 5 month without daylight. And I am complaining about some rain...
With the light bike I also go on my first hike a bike on the trail out to the Root Glacier. About half the trail is rideable, the other half I carry Klaus over the rocky climbs and descents but I 100% wanted to take him out to the glacier. With the amazingly dramatic views that the glacier and the moraine covered by black sand provide me I cook myself a nice meal and enjoy the scenery.